The presence of the University
It is pleasing that UCS is increasingly making its mark in our town, e.g. the degree awards ceremony in the Town Hall and Corn Exchange also involved a striking long hospitality marquee in King Street. (UCS, we are told, now has students of 69 different nationalities.)
The "Wine Rack"
IBC granted planning permission in November for completion of this ugly reminder of the recession. Regardless of individual opinions of the development, it is surely encouraging that use will be made of this valuable site before the concrete shell rots. (See Planning matters for more about this.)
A plus for buses
The planned electronic information boards showing the times buses are expected have now been activated at Tower Ramparts bus station and elsewhere. All such provisions to make buses easier to use are to be welcomed in a busy town.
Indications of caring
Scaffolding on buildings in the town centre doesn't enhance the street scene. But it is a good sign of recent planned maintenance of some of our most notable buildings, e.g. Marks & Spencer's and various sites in Butter Market, nearly all owned by what used to be called "absentee landlords".
Delays on the line
"Freight train breaks down near Chelmsford." A typical problem leaving one line blocked and passenger services to/from London disrupted. Good to hear of improved trains and stations, etc. but with only two tracks from here to Shenfield it's a regular hazard to reliability.
A new statue
Proposals for a statue commemorating Edith Cook, the first woman pilot in Britain, are progressing. Some £60,000 is needed. On a plinth in Fore Street opposite UCS she could look towards her birthplace at No. 90 where the Society's Blue Plaque is sited.
How to use it?
The Island Site between the dock and the New Cut will be the most difficult part of the Waterfront to re-develop. It's good that attention is now being paid to the site. Proposals for an 'Enterprise Island' have been advanced including a business hub for hi-tech companies and two rising bridges to make a new link between Wherstead Road and Cliff Quay.
Moving into town
Attwells Solicitors' move into the former Bank of Scotland premises, Sun Buildings, in Princes Street is welcome in two ways: it restores the use of one of our most attractive buildings and brings more workers and more life to the town centre.